The Department of Defense is having a rough week. This is because they’re not exactly sure how $700+ million worth of ammo has been spent after it was sent to Afghanistan.
In addition, the Combined Security Transition Command – which trains and quips Afghan security and defense forces – is not sure that the money was spent entirely on the purpose that it was meant to.
In response, the Department of Defense’s Inspector General is blaming the Command, saying the group was not effective in overseeing the use of the ammunition given by the DOD.
According to the report, which was released last week:
“Without consistent, timely, and accurate reporting from the ministries, (Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan) cannot account for all ammunition consumed by the (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces).”
As Guns.com states:
The money was spent in fiscal years 2015 and 2016. According to the report, officials said understaffing and security limitations prevented them from performing certain physical inspections that would have validated ammunition reports. CSTC-A personnel also failed to define who was responsible for evaluating the ammunition reporting.
“This occurred because CSTC-A focused on its advisory mission through mentoring Afghan officials but did not develop an effective strategy to oversee the ministries’ compliance with commitment letter requirements,” the report said.
Personnel only enforced one penalty on the Afghan government for failing to meet reporting requirements. The Afghan ministries didn’t meet the requirements in 36 of 55 assessments. Officials didn’t enforce the penalties because they feared it would have a negative effect on ANDSF operational readiness, according to the IG.
The report outlined a series of recommendations, including clearly defined responsibilities for oversight personnel, and ways to evaluate ministry compliance with ammunition reporting requirements.
According to a report for the United Nations Security Council, an assessment shows that large amounts of arms and ammunition from Afghanistan’s military stockpiles still remain unaccounted for.
In addition, the report explains that, throughout the ongoing fighting season, an ever-increasing amount of sniper rifles, laser sights, night-vision goggles, and other specialized, modern equipment has been taken from fighters of the Taliban.
According to the Military Times, the U.S. government has spent over $70 billion on Afghan security and defense forces alone since the year 2002.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the Department of Defense will be able to uncover the answer to this mystery.